History & Reference - Coney's Stamps

Font Decrease Font Increase

U.S. Statehood Dates

Including Territories, Protectorates, and Possessions

Terr/State Territorial Date Statehood Date Notes
Alabama Sept. 25, 1817 Dec. 14, 1819 Territory by enabling act of March 3, 1817, effective Sept. 25, 1817. created out of part of existing Mississippi Territory.
Alaska Oct. 18, 1867 Jan. 3, 1959 A district from Oct. 18, 1867, until it became an organized territory Aug. 24, 1912.
Arizona Feb. 24, 1863 Feb. 14, 1912 This region was sometimes called Arizona before 1863 though still in the Territory of New Mexico.
Arkansas July 5, 1819* June 15, 1836 The territory was larger than the state. After statehood, the left-over area to the west had post offices that continued for some years to use an Arkansas abbreviation in the postmarks although really they were in the “Indian Country.”
California   Sept. 9, 1850 Ceded by Mexico by the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, concluded Feb. 2, 1848, and proclaimed July 4, 1848. From then until statehood, California had first a military government until Dec. 20, 1849, and then a local civil government. It never had a territorial form of government.
Colorado Feb. 28, 1861 Aug. 1, 1876  
Connecticut   Jan. 9, 1788 The fifth of the original 13 colonies.
Delaware   Dec. 7, 1787 The first of the original 13 colonies.
Dakota March 2, 1861 Nov. 2, 1889 Became two states: North and South Dakota.
Deseret March 5, 1849   Brigham Young created the unofficial territory of Deseret. In spite of the fact that Utah Territory was created Sept. 9, 1850, Deseret continued to exist unofficially, in what is now Utah, at least as late as 1862.
Frankland or Franklin     This unofficial state was formed in Aug. 1784, in the northeast corner of what is now Tennessee, and the government existed until 1788. In reality it was part of North Carolina.
Florida March 30, 1822 March 3, 1845  
Georgia   Jan. 2, 1788 The fourth of the original 13 colonies
Hawaii Aug. 12, 1898 Aug. 21, 1959 The territorial date given is that of the formal transfer to the United States, with Sanford B. Dole as first Governor.
Idaho March 3, 1863 July 3, 1890  
Illinois March 2, 1809* Dec. 3, 1818  
Indiana July 5, 1800* Dec. 11, 1816 There was a residue of Indiana Territory which continued to exist under that name from Dec. 11, 1816 until Dec. 3, 1818, when it was attached to Michigan Territory.
Indian Territory (Oklahoma)   Nov. 16, 1907 In the region first called the “Indian Country,” established June 30, 1834. It never had a territorial form of government. Finally, with Oklahoma Territory, it became the State of Oklahoma on Nov. 16, 1907
Iowa July 4, 1838 Dec. 28, 1846  
Jefferson Oct. 24, 1859   An unofficial territory from Oct. 24, 1859, to Feb. 28, 1861. In reality it included parts of Kansas, Nebraska, Utah and New Mexico Territories, about 30% being in each of the first three and 10% in New Mexico. The settled portion was mostly in Kansas Territory until Jan. 29, 1861, when the State of Kansas was formed from the eastern part of Kansas Territory. From this date the heart of “Jefferson” was in unorganized territory until Feb. 28, 1861, when it became the Territory of Colorado
Kansas May 30, 1854 Jan. 29, 1861  
Kentucky   June 1, 1792 Never a territory, it was part of Virginia until statehood.
District of Louisiana Oct. 1, 1804   An enormous region, it encompassed all of the Louisiana Purchase except the Territory of Orleans. created by Act of March 26, 1804, effective Oct. 1, 1804, and attached for administrative purposes to the Territory of Indiana.
Territory of Louisiana July 4, 1805   By Act of March 3, 1805, effective July 4, 1805, the District of Louisiana became the Territory of Louisiana
Louisiana   April 30, 1812 With certain boundary changes, had been the Territory of Orleans.
District of Maine   March 16, 1820 Before statehood, what is now the State of Maine was called the District of Maine and belonged to Massachusetts.
Maryland   April 28, 1788 The seventh of the original 13 colonies.
Massachusetts   Feb. 6, 1788 The sixth of the original 13 colonies.
Michigan July 1, 1805 Jan. 26, 1837  
Minnesota March 3, 1849 May 11, 1858  
Mississippi May 7, 1798 Dec. 10, 1817 Territory by Act of April 7, 1798, effective May 7, 1798.
Missouri Dec. 7, 1812 Aug. 10, 1821 The state was much smaller than the territory. The area to the west and northwest of the state, which had been in the territory, was commonly known as the “Missouri Country” until May 30, 1854, and certain of the post offices in this area show a Missouri abbreviation in the postmark.
Montana May 26, 1864 Nov. 8, 1889  
Nebraska May 30, 1854 March 1, 1867  
Nevada March 2, 1861 Oct. 31, 1864  
New Hampshire   June 21, 1788 The ninth of the original 13 colonies.
New Jersey   Dec. 18, 1787 The third of the original 13 colonies.
New Mexico Dec. 13, 1850 Jan. 6, 1912  
New York   July 26, 1788 The 11th of the original 13 colonies.
North Carolina   Nov. 21, 1789 The 12th of the original 13 colonies.
North Dakota   Nov. 2, 1889 Had been part of the Territory of Dakota.
Northwest Territory July 13, 1787   Ceased to exist March 1, 1803, when Ohio became a state. The date given is in dispute,
Nov. 29, 1802 often being accepted.
Ohio March 1, 1803   Had been part of Northwest Territory until statehood.
Oklahoma May 2, 1890 Nov. 16, 1907 The state was formed from Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory.
Oregon Aug. 14, 1848 Feb. 14, 1859  
Orleans Oct. 1, 1804   A territory by Act of March 26, 1804, effective Oct. 1, 1804. With certain boundary changes, it became the State of Louisiana, April 30, 1812.
Pennsylvania   Dec. 12, 1787 The second of the original 13 colonies.
Rhode Island   May 29, 1790 The 13th of the original 13 colonies.
South Carolina   May 23, 1788 The eighth of the original 13 colonies.
South Dakota   Nov. 2, 1889 Had been part of Dakota Territory.
Southwest Territory     Became the State of Tennessee, with minor boundary changes, June 1, 1796.
Tennessee   June 1, 1796 Had been Southwest Territory before statehood.
Texas   Dec. 29, 1845 Had been an independent Republic before statehood.
Utah Sept. 9, 1850 Jan. 4, 1896  
Vermont   March 4, 1791 Until statehood, had been a region claimed by both New York and New Hampshire.
Virginia   June 25, 1788 The 10th of the original 13 colonies.
Washington March 2, 1853 Nov. 11, 1889  
West Virginia   June 20, 1863 Had been part of Virginia until statehood.
Wisconsin July 4, 1836 May 29, 1848 The state was smaller than the territory, and the left-over area continued to be called
the Territory of Wisconsin until March 3, 1849.
Wyoming July 29, 1868 July 10, 1890  

* The dates followed by an asterisk are one day later than those generally accepted. The reason is that the Act states, with Arkansas for example, “from and after July 4.” While it was undoubtedly the intention of Congress to create Arkansas as a Territory on July 4, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that “from and after July 4,” for instance, meant “July 5.”

Territorial and statehood data compiled by Dr. Carroll Chase and Richard McP. Cabeen.

Additional US Territories, Protectorates and Possessions:

Territory Date Annexed Notes
Cuba December 10, 1898 On July 25, 1898, during the Spanish-American War, Puerto Rico was invaded by the United States with a landing at Guánica. As an outcome of the war, Spain ceded Puerto Rico, along with Cuba, the Philippines, and Guam to the U.S. under the Treaty of Paris. In 1947, the U.S. granted Puerto Ricans the right to democratically elect their own governor. A local constitution was approved by a Constitutional Convention on February 6, 1952, ratified by the U.S. Congress, approved by President Truman on July 3 of that year, and proclaimed by Gov. Muñoz Marín on July 25, 1952, the anniversary of the 1898 arrival of U.S. troops.
Philippines
Puerto Rico
Guam Guam was ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Paris ended the Spanish American War in 1898 and formally purchased from Spain for $20 million in 1899. U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed the Organic Act making Guam an unincorporated territory of the United States with limited self-governing authority and granting American Citizenship to the people of Guam.
The Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI) July 18, 1947

was a United Nations trust territory in Micronesia (western Pacific) administered by the United States from July 18, 1947, comprising the former South Pacific Mandate, a League of Nations Mandate administered by Japan and taken by the U.S. in 1944. On October 21, 1986, the U.S. ended its administration of the Marshall Islands district.

This area is now divided into four territories:
The Republic of the Marshall Islands was established in 1979 and signed a Compact of Free Association with the U.S. (effective October 21, 1986.
The Federated States of Micronesia was established in 1979 and signed a Compact of Free Association with the U.S. (effective November 3, 1986).
The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands was set up in 1978 as a commonwealth in political union with the U.S.
The Republic of Palau was established in 1981 and concluded a Compact of Free Association with the U.S. (effective October 1, 1994).

U.S. Virgin Islands January 17,1917 U.S. Paid the Danish Crown 25 million and took possession of the islands on March 31, 1917. U.S. citizenship was granted to the inhabitants of the islands in 1927.
American Samoa   Samoa was divided between Germany and the U.S. in 1899 at the Tripartite Convention. Deed of Cession of Tutuila in 1900 and a Deed of Cession of Manua in 1904. Although technically considered "unorganized" in that the U.S. Congress has not passed an Organic Act for the territory, American Samoa is self-governing under a constitution that became effective on July 1, 1967. The U.S. Territory of American Samoa is on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, a listing which is disputed by territorial government officials.

Minor Outlying Islands (Pacific)
Including:

The islands are grouped together as a statistical convenience. They are not administered collectively, nor do they share a single cultural or political history beyond being uninhabited islands under the sovereignty of the United States.

The term "United States Minor Outlying Islands" was introduced in 1986. From 1974 until 1986, five of the islands (Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Palmyra Atoll and Kingman Reef) were grouped under the term United States Miscellaneous Pacific Islands, with ISO 3166 code PU (the code of Midway Atoll was MI, and the code of Johnston Atoll JT).

Baker 10-28-1856
Howland 10-28-1856
Jarvis 10-28-1856
Johnston Atoll 09-06-1859
Midway 08-28-1867
Wake 1 01-17-1899
Palmyra 2 02-21-1912
Caribbean Sea
Kingman Reef 02-08-1860  
Navassa 3 10-31-1858  
Serranilla4 09-08-1879
09-13-1880
 
Bajo Nuevo Bank4 11-22-1869  
1claimed by the Marshall Islands
2previously claimed by Hawaii when independent. Palmyra was officially part of Hawaii until 1959.
3claimed by Haiti
4These islands are disputed with Colombia, Jamaica , and possibly Honduras
 Only one U.S. Government online resource list these islands in the context of the United States Minor Outlying Islands, all others do not but lists them as disputed.